10 Inventions by Thomas Edison (That You've Never Heard Of)

Concrete Furniture
Concrete furniture is perfectly fine for outside, but is it what you’re looking for in your couch potato moments jonasmout/iStock/Thinkstock

Why should a young couple go into debt to purchase furniture that will last only a few decades? Edison proposed that for half the money, they could obtain a house full of concrete furniture that would endure for eternity. Made with air-impregnated foam to keep the weight at only one-and-a-half times that of wooden furniture, Edison's line of concrete furnishings would be sanded and smoothed into a mirror-like finish or stained to look like wood grain. He claimed he could furnish an entire house for less than $200.

In 1911, Edison's company molded a piano, bathtub and cabinets that could house Edison's phonographs. They shipped the phonograph cabinets around the country as a publicity stunt, and Edison affixed stickers on the packaging, asking the shippers to please handle them roughly. The cabinets were to be unveiled in New York City at the annual cement industry show, but Edison didn't show up, and the cabinets weren't heard of again. Suspicions are that the cabinets didn't survive the trip.